How-To Video: Festival-Inspired Braids and Pigtails

At this year’s Premiere Orlando, our Facebook Live lounge in partnership with SalonCentric brought the most talented artists and influencers in the industry live to our audience. Sam Villa (@samvillahair), Redken Global Artistic Ambassador, and one of our all-time favorites and weekly guest blogger on, stopped in and blew us away with his styling demos. He created three cool festival looks using braids and pigtails in a fresh new way. Plus, Villa dropped a ton of tips and tricks for elevating your in-salon work and new work-arounds for classic techniques.  

For his first braided look, Villa stressed the following: “When doing long hair, even simple braids, prep is really important.” He used Redken Pillow Proof Prime to blow dry hair and followed up with Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Extender. “It’s a dry shampoo, but I’ve discovered when I use it in ponytails or braids that are especially dry, it gets a little more fluffy, a little more frothy,” says Villa. Another trick: coating an elastic with Redken Braid Aid 03 to act as a buffer and prevent indentation in the hair. 

For his second braided look, Villa created a 3D braid. Using only three strands, he constructed a braid that looked like it was four strands. It was a new way of building a braids without employing the classic over-under technique. 

And for his final look, Villa created a modern style with pigtails using Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream and elastics. “It’s all about ponytails, elastics and tying things,” says Villa. “You want to create visual value at the salon.” His pigtail look was just that—business in the front, party in the back. 

For more of Sam Villa’s hair hacks for the pro, check out his weekly blog series with and in Sam’s Corner on